1785, "practical sense, intelligence;" also a verb, "to know, to understand;" West Indies pidgin borrowing of French savez(-vous)? "do you know?" or Spanish sabe (usted) "you know," both from Vulgar Latin *sapere, from Latin sapere "be wise, be knowing" (see sapient). The adjective is first recorded 1905, from the noun. Related: Savvily; savviness.
: a very savvy lady
To understand; know; grasp: I'm the honcho here, savvy? (1785+)
[fr West Indian pidgin fr Spanish sabe usted, ''do you know?''; modern use influenced by French savez, ''you know'']